Actor Ramya Krishnan says her short stint in Bollywood made her evaluate her choices as a performer and pushed her to divert her attention towards the South film industry.
Krishnan made her acting debut in 1983 with Tamil film “Vellai Manasu” and in a career spanning close to four decades, she has acted in Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi languages.
In Hindi cinema, Krishnan featured in “Dayavan”, “Parampara”, “Khalnayak”, “Chaahat”, “Banarasi Babu” and “Bade Miyan Chote Miyan”.
“None of the films did well (here) and I was already a star or a leading heroine in Telugu industry. So I didn’t have the guts to leave that industry and come and fight my battle (in Hindi cinema). I didn’t have the courage to give it all away,” Krishnan told PTI in an interview.
“For you to do more films in a certain industry, you need a successful movie. Unluckily, that also didn’t happen in Hindi and I was comfortable doing Telugu films,” she added.
Some of Krishnan's celebrated films from south are “Allari Priyudu” (Telugu), “Kante Kuthurne Kanu” (Telugu), “Padayappa” (Tamil), “Sweety Nanna Jodi” (Kannada), “Panchatanthiram” (Tamil), “Baahubali” series (Telugu) and “Super Deluxe” (Tamil).
The 51-year-old actor said she is grateful to the filmmakers from the South for offering her diverse work.
“I am glad I got opportunities that were diverse, like Kamal Haasan’s movie ‘Panchatanthiram', where I played a call girl Maggie. It was a rage that time.
"Then with Rajni sir I did ‘Padayappa’, in which I played the antagonist, and then a film like ‘Super Deluxe’. So these kinds of roles have opened doors for more opportunities. Maybe that's why I am not typecast,” Krishnan added.
In her latest release “Liger”, she plays leading man Vijay Deverakonda’s mother Balamani.
Shot simultaneously in Telugu and Hindi, the movie is directed by noted South filmmaker Puri Jagannadh and revolves around an underdog fighter (Deverakonda) from Mumbai, who competes in an MMA championship.
Krishnan said Balamani is a complex character and cannot be defined as just a conventional "mother" role.
“You cannot label it as a mother's role. It is a supporting role. She has a strong and aggressive side to her."
“Liger” also starring Ananya Panday, opened in theatres on August 25. The film is backed by Jagannadh and Charmme Kaur's banner Puri Connects and Karan Johar-led Dharma Productions.
Up next for Krishnan is Rajinikanth-led movie "Jailer", directed by Nelson Dilipkumar of "Doctor" fame and the second season of MX Player series "Queen".